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RNC Buzz: Clint Eastwood Talks to Empty Chair

Discussion with 'invisible Obama' highlights strange speech for actor


Maybe the RNC’s decision to have actor Clint Eastwood speak on behalf of Mitt Romney on the night Romney gave his acceptance speech wasn’t an attempt to inject star power into the convention. Maybe it was actually a way to make Romney’s speech look better.

Either way, Eastwood gave one of the strangest speeches ever seen at a national political convention yesterday, highlighted by a mock interview with an empty chair on stage that signified President Barack Obama. Eastwood portrayed the invisible Obama as angry and profane, and frequently addressed asides from his speech to the chair, like this one:

“What? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that. He can’t do that to himself.”

Eastwood rambled, forgot to finish sentences, and even spouted his classic “Dirty Harry” catchphrase (from the movie “Sudden Impact“): “Go ahead. Make my day.”

Not surprisingly, the Internet loved it. Someone has already created and started tweeting with an @InvisibleObama Twitter account, poking fun at the GOP. Several other celebrities, both supporting and opposing the Republican party, tweeted about the Eastwood speech as well, including country singer Blake Shelton, “Star Trek” star George Takei, and comedian Bob Newhart, who is known for comic bits with one-way conversations.

But perhaps the best, and simplest, comment made about the empty chair speech came from Obama himself. He posted a three word response to Eastwood: “This seat’s taken.” Attached to the message was a link to his campaign website, and a picture of Obama from behind sitting in a chair with a plaque attached that read “The President, January 20, 2009.” Short, and to the point.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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